Toughening mechanisms on recycled rubber modified epoxy based composites reinforced with alumina fibers

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Environmental and economic concerns has been a motivation for the material manufacturers to produce new, robust, lightweight and cost-effective materials. Therefore, aeronautic and automobile industries are investigating multifunctional composite materials that can meet their expectations. In this regard, polymer based composites can have high specific strength with the contribution of resistant fillers. As a polymer, epoxy is considered an appropriate matrix, which can be modified by different agents. First option is the addition of hard particles and second is that the inclusion of thermoplastics or the addition of elastomeric materials. Since, epoxy exhibits high brittleness due to its highly cross-linked nature, modifiers less rigid than the matrix can serve as unique tougheners enhancing the ductility. In this study, a good combination of both hard and soft modifiers is used. In addition to mechanical characteristics, using of fresh clean scrap EPDM rubbers adds an economic and environmental value to this study. Also, due to its favorable structural characteristics such as interlocking effects of fibers, addition of alumina fibers (AF) ensures desired mechanical properties in case of a homogeneous distribution. This paper primarily explains the mechanical behavior as well as damage mechanisms of epoxy-fresh scrap rubber composites. The mechanical and physical properties of these composite systems are studied in the present work. Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) analyses were carried out to determine thermal-mechanical properties. Three-point bending and fracture toughness tests were realized with single edge notched beam (SENB) and smooth specimens. Finally, scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe fracture surfaces and the microstructure.

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© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019. Publisher's version of record:

Publication Title

Mechanics of Composite, Hybrid and Multifunctional Materials,